The Celtics have signed No. 16 pick Terry Rozier and No. 28 pick R.J. Hunter, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge announced in a press conference today, as Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe relays (Twitter link). Boston had put off the moves while it officially remained below the cap, but with the long-anticipated David Lee trade becoming official today, Boston went over the cap and thus no longer had motivation to keep the cap holds for Rozier and Hunter as low as possible. Rozier will see more than $1.824MM this season and nearly $8.77MM over the life of his four-year rookie scale contract, while Hunter’s salary is almost $1.149MM with nearly $5.861MM total on his deal, assuming they both signed for the standard 120% of the rookie scale, as our chart shows. Their cap holds had been equivalent to 100% of the scale.
Rozier was a surprise pick, as he was the 23rd-ranked prospect according to Chad Ford of ESPN.com but just No. 47 on Jonathan Givony’s DraftExpress listings. Our Eddie Scarito had him going 29th in the final version of the Hoops Rumors 2015 Mock Draft, right after Boston’s second pick of the first round. Still, the point guard from Louisville impressed coach Brad Stevens with his motor during a pair of predraft workouts, and Ainge didn’t want to risk waiting for him to drop to No. 28.
Ainge and company made a more conventional choice with Hunter, whom Ford ranked 24th and Givony had 26th. Our mock draft had the Georgia State shooting guard and NCAA Tournament hero going at No. 22. The two account for 17 fully guaranteed contracts on Boston’s roster, though the team is reportedly going to unload the newly acquired Zoran Dragic. That would still leave Boston one over the regular season limit.
Which of Rozier and Hunter will have the better NBA career? Leave a comment to share your opinion.